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J Aust Popul Assoc. 1989 May;6(1):1-17.

Who's producing the next generation? The parentage of Australian children.

Abstract

PIP:

Researchers from the Australian National Unverisity in Canberra studied data from the 1981 Census Households Sample File to determine who is bearing Australia's children. The majority of children (approximately 80%) lived in a nuclear (or step) family with a mother who has been married only once. As for children who had teenage mothers, the highest proportion resided with never married mothers either as a single parent family or in a de facto nuclear family. Further, with an increase of age of mothers came a decrease in the proportions of children living outside of a nuclear (or step) family situation. In 1981, the younger the age group the higher the percentage who stopped their education at = or 16 years old: 30-34 year olds = 51%; 25-29 year olds = 63%; and 20-24 year olds = 71%. The more education women had the less likely they were to be mothers, but, if they were mothers, their children were more likely to live in a stable nuclear family than those of less educated women. For example, in the 25-29 and 30-34 age groups, 85% of the children of the better educated women lived in a nuclear family with a mother who was once married. Even though a trend of increasing participation of married women in the labor force existed in 1981, mothers of 60-80% of young children either did not work or worked part time. As the age of the children cohorts increased, however, researchers witnessed a corresponding increase in the proportion of mothers who worked. Religious belief and worship attendance were associated with family stability and nuclear family environments, but almost 75% of children of mothers claiming no religion lived in a nuclear family. In conclusion, despite Australia's below replacement fertility, Australians who had children tend to have traditional attitudes towards child rearing, such as raising children in a nuclear family with married parents and spending time with their children.

PMID:
12342439
DOI:
10.1007/bf03029467
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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